Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi embarked on his three-nation tour of France, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain last week. However, the feather on the cap was the rare invitation to attend the G7 Summit at the end of his tour. Amid escalating tensions, Pakistan has been trying to bring international attention to the chain of events following India's revocation of special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). However, PM Modi’s diplomatic skills have ensured that India continues to win globally. Here is how he has achieved this:
On the first leg of his visit, PM Modi held extensive discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron on a variety of issues including the decision to revoke J&K’s special status. At the joint briefing, Macron supported India’s position on the issue. He commented that he would talk to Pakistan PM Imran Khan and urge him to work towards peace and stability and seek an end to terrorism. He further added that France and India would continue working on regional peace, tackling terrorism and respecting territorial sovereignty. Macron also commended India’s role in shaping the Paris agreement and called for India to have a bigger stake in global issues.
In early January this year, Pakistan PM Imran Khan personally chauffered Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to his residence, when the latter arrived in Pakistan on a one-day visit in attempts to suggest friendly relations between the two leaders. However, despite the obvious political gimmick, his overtures fell flat as PM Modi obtained the support of UAE on the J&K special status issue. Moreover, he received the UAE’s highest civilian award ‘Order of Zayed’ for his efforts to boost bilateral ties between both countries. The past recipients of the award include Russian President Vladimir Putin, Queen Elizabeth II, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
PM Modi was conferred ‘The King Hamad Order of Renaissance’ on his Bahrain leg of the three-nation tour. He was received at the airport by his Bahraini counterpart Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa himself. They discussed ways to strengthen the ties between both countries, focusing on business ties and cultural exchanges. Furthermore, PM Modi urged businessmen to participate in the Global Investor's Summit to be held in Srinagar from October 12.
The G7 Summit is an exclusive forum in which countries including United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States participate. India is not a formal member of the G7. However, PM Modi received a special invitation to attend the summit at the behest of French President Macron. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) described this as a personal reflection of the chemistry between the two leaders.
PM Modi held a meeting with Secretary-General of United Nations António Guterres. They successfully deliberated on key issues, including the need to strengthen the efforts to mitigate climate change. He also held his first meeting with new UK PM Boris Johnson, focusing on cementing ties in trade, defense, and innovation. Addressing the session on biodiversity, oceans and climate change, he highlighted India’s large-scale efforts towards eliminating single-use plastic, conserving water, harnessing solar energy, and protecting the flora and fauna for a sustainable future.
In the last few weeks, US President Donald Trump had made a variety of statements on the Kashmir issue. He even mentioned the possibility of mediation inviting an internet uproar from both sides. This time, however, with PM Modi leading the way, Trump completed a remarkable volte-face on his mediation offer, going one step forward from his mid-way 'will mediate if India and Pakistan ask', to upholding that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. Trump remarked that he was assured of India and Pakistan being able to talk to each other, resulting in a positive outcome.